We bought a log cabin that we think was built in the 60's. The logs are round, interior and exterior (no chinking). The inside of the cabin is very dark. I just think over the years the logs have naturally gotten darker and dirty. We are not sure if there is a stain on the interior or varnish or what. I wish to clean these logs but not sure what to use or how to clean the interior. Any suggestions. Can I just wash these interior log walls with some solution and let them dry or what. I am at a loss. Everything I am reading has to do with exterior log upkeep but nothing about the interior.
This is a small cabin (think 600 sf with a loft above). Think square box in which the bedroom was cornered off buy building an interior wall of pine paneling. The paneling too has been there a long time. The doorway going into the bedroom and bathroom never had frame molding around the opening. We are going to add the molding but we will now have raw wood molding up against this pine paneling. We are thinking of painting (maybe tan/light tan)the paneled wall, the doors to the bedroom and bathroom (which are unfinished but darkened over time) and the moldings in order to 1)try to lighten up the interior of the cabin, 2) bring together these unfinished/dark dirty section of wood.
Does anyone have suggestions on whether we should even attempt to do this, what color to use, brand name of paint (i.e. Benjamin Moore), type of paint, Aura, Regal, etc.; latex or oil, type of finish (flat, matte, satin, semi gloss, etc?
Hi Marlene. You might post a couple of photos to give us an idea of what your interior logs look like to see if its possible to tell what is on them. I would also contact some of the log home stain companies (Sashco, Perma-chink, Sansin etc) to ask for samples of their log cleaning products. They all make good ones. Directions would come with the sample. The primary thing is to ensure that you are rinsing well after washing. It can get a little messy. You could even use the log cleaner on the paneling, if you want to stain the paneling rather than paint it.
I'd also recommend calling Schroeder Log Home Supplies and asking for their free catalog. It lists prices and info about a variety of products. In addition to that, it is a good resource with articles for restoring and maintaining your log home. 1-800-359-614.
Lastly, your question about paint at the end of your post....was the paint for the paneling or were you considering it for the logs? Painting paneling would be fine. Painting logs wouldn't.
It looks to me as if their has been a finish previously applied, as well as some graying from the sun. To better determine if this is true, might I recommend hand sanding in an inconspicuous area in better expose the natural wood tone?
It does however appear that you have plenty of windows in your home which can let in the sunlight, and if your interior logs are not properly protected from the UV rays, this can cause some "darkening." High quality finishes like ours, contain components knows as UV inhibitors that chemically protect the underlying wood from the effects of sun exposure. Something with a gloss finish to it would also help reflect some of the harmful UV rays as well.
Your possibilities also vary depending on how you would like to approach the whole situation. Do you want to completely strip those walls or just clean them with a cleaning solution made to remove the grayed wood fibers?
Another thing to consider, if you do plan on staining the interior of your home, I would strongly suggest using a water based product. Most interior oil based finishes can put off some harmful vapors, and in turn, take days even weeks to evaporate. Water based has minimal health effects.
I hope this information was helpful and not overwhelming...should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.
Sales/Customer Service, Colorado Branch
I'm sure we could give out some referrals. Go ahead and give us a call or you can contact me directly via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also provide you with samples of cleaning products, free of charge. Either way we would be glad to help.
I have attached some of our Cleaning Guidelines and some tech tips for interior care for informative reasons. Keep in mind that no matter which product you decide to use, it is extremely important to rinse the solution off completely. And yes, this can be achieved without the use of a pressure washer. When you clean your dishes do you double check and make sure you have any left over residue from your dish soap? Otherwise it would leave a film on your glasses or a foul taste in your mouth correct? The same rules apply in cleaning your log home as well (not the taste in your mouth however).